Constitutional Reforms after 1900

From the turn of the twentieth century, the constitution of the Kingdom of Bavaria, which had come into force in 1818, was further adapted to the demands of the citizens. The most important step in this direction was certainly the reform of the electoral law in 1906, when a two-thirds majority in the Bavarian Chamber of Deputies enabled the SPD and the majority of the Centre to push through the introduction of direct elections in the Bavarian state elections. The appointment of Georg von Hertling (1843–1919) as Chairman of the Council of Ministers was also perceived as an important impulse for the democratisation of Bavaria. For the first time a representative of the majority in the Landtag (Regional Parliament) had been appointed to this office.

After the death of Prince Regent Luitpold (1821–1912, regent 1886–1912) on 12 December 1912 and the accession of Ludwig III (1845–1921, regent 1912–1913, king 1913–1918) the way seemed clear for a further modernisation of the Bavarian state. However, renewed reform projects initially failed due to the outbreak of WWI in August 1914, while the lack of readiness to reform by the Centre Party, by the Chamber of Imperial Councillors of the Bavarian Landtag and not least by the government and the king prevented further changes until 1918.

It would take the spectre of an unavoidable military defeat and the introduction of corresponding reforms at the imperial level that the Bavarian king, the government and the Centre Party were ready for reforms. With the agreement of the parties in the Landtag on 2 November 1918, Bavaria was to be transformed into a parliamentary monarchy. It meant that the government no longer depended on the reliance of the king, but on the support of the Landtag. However, as it turned out, these reforms came too late. The revolution of 7 November 1918 prevented the implementation of the proposal and ensured in its way a prompt transition from the kingdom to the democratic Free State of Bavaria.